Housing development to fill long-vacant lots
by Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Sep 15, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Some of the residents of Wharton Road voiced their concerns about a retention basin that will be part of a new housing development when they spoke at to the Cadiz City Council at its monthly meeting last Tuesday evening.

The housing development known as Town Haven Estates, which is being built on the vacant lots near the intersection of Lafayette Street and Wharton Road, is headed up by developer Jon Goodwin, who said there will be 22 lots when it is complete.

The water retention basin is supposed to help control water drainage in the area, but residents like Harry Todd said he and others from the area have some concerns, particularly about the retention pond, although he and others said they’re okay with the houses being there.

“I don’t know anywhere that you’d have a body of water that if there’s children around that they’re not going to get into,” Todd said. “I’m concerned about the size of it … and I’m wondering how we’re going to control the mosquitoes.”

Jessie Sumner, another resident, said he is concerned about possible flooding problems that could affect Second Street resident Shelly Howe’s home. Howe was also at the meeting and concurred with Sumner, and talked about concern for the safety of her children.

Goodwin was not able to attend the meeting, but disputed some of the claims made by the residents. In particular, he said the state requires a water management plan with any development, and that in this case, that means a water retention basin. He added that there won’t be any more water than there was before.

“If you start shedding water, you can’t dump it on your neighbor; you have to have some kind of plan to hold the water, and this is what the engineers designed,” Goodwin said. “We’ve done nothing here except exactly what the state has asked us to do.”

Once rainwater hits a hard surface like a roof, it has to have somewhere to go, and in this case it will flow into the retention pond, which will be, at most, three and a half feet deep, said Goodwin.

Cadiz City Councilor Todd King said he has been assured by Goodwin that a tall, strong fence will be built around the retention basin, and that other precautions will be taken as well.

“[Goodwin] said there would be a spillway at the very end … and there would be a fence put up around that lake,” King said.

Harry Todd said he could write his name on his house from all the dirt that was kicked up. Goodwin said that in order to keep dust from going everywhere, water trucks have been working constantly.

Cadiz City Councilor Susan Bryant said they should talk to the planning commission, as they have a lot of power and are very open to the concerns of the community.

Cadiz Public Works Director Kerry Fowler said the plans have already been approved by the Cadiz-Trigg County Planning Commission and have been reviewed and approved by State Engineer Frank Williams.

Planning Commission Chairman Bob Brame said on Friday that the commission gave preliminary approval of the development so that Goodwin can begin dirt work, although Williams will have to look at the development again before the planning commission will give the development final approval, and final approval is needed before Goodwin can start selling lots.

“We don’t want any problems with anybody; this is our livelihood,” Goodwin said.

Some members of the city council asked Mayor Lyn Bailey and other city officials to talk to the planning commission and see what requirements can be made to see that a good fence will be created around the basin.

The planning commission will meet again at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at Cadiz City Hall. They will likely look at final approval of the development at that meeting.

The city council also heard a first reading of the 2010 property tax rate, which this year will be 26.5 cents per $100 of assessed real estate value and 33.1 cents per $100 of personal property value.

Cadiz City Clerk Lisa Rogers said the rate is quarter of a cent higher than last year’s rate, resulting in a minute increase in property tax bills this year.

And the city council also approved a proposal by the Cadiz Renaissance Committee that would entail the revitalization of East End Cemetery, Paul Fourshee, local business owner and Renaissance Committee member presented some of the details of that plan at the meeting.

“We know that this project could be a very long-term project, and it’s even possible there’s a lot of things in the plan that may never happen,” Fourshee said.

The Renaissance Committee, Fourshee said, would like for there to be some kind of memorial in the center of the cemetery to the African Americans that are buried there but don’t have tombstones. He said they have already identified at least 45 that were buried between 1911 and 1930 that don’t have tombstones.

The cemetery dates back to 1835, Fourshee said.

The Renaissance Committee is also looking at a new fence to replace the old chain-link fence and is also planning some landscaping improvements to the cemetery itself, said Fourshee.

In other business, the council also approved on second reading, the motor vehicle tax rate, which Rogers said is the same as last year’s rate.

The council unanimously approved a change in the bidding requirements for the city that will require any project more than $10,000 to be opened to the public for bids, which city councilors said is a change from the previous level of $20,000.
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